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The Florida Supreme Court has Limited the Economic Loss Rule to Products Liability Cases: Are Tort C

Posted by attorney Matthew Havice

Likely not; however, the Court’s recent decision leaves the issue open to interpretation. On March 7, 2013 the Florida Supreme Court published an opinion limiting the Economic Loss Rule to products liability actions. Tiara Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., 38 Fla. L. Weekly S151a, WL 828003 Fla., 2013. Tiara Condominium, involves a condominium association (“Tiara") who retained an insurance broker (“Marsh") to secure condominium insurance coverage. Marsh secured windstorm coverage through Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (“Citizens"), which issued a policy that contained a loss limit of $50 million. In September of 2004, hurricanes Frances and Jeanne caused significant damage to the condominiums and Tiara began the process of loss remediation. Tiara asked and after being assured by Marsh that the loss limits of the coverage policy were per occurrence, i.e., Tiara would be entitled to $100 million rather than coverage in the aggregate of only $50 million, Tiara proceeded with remediation efforts that slightly exceeded $100 million. Tiara sought payment of the policy limits from Citizens who claimed the loss limit was $50 million in the aggregate, not per occurrence. Tiara and Citizens settled for approximately $89 million, leaving Tiara responsible for the money spent making the remainder of the repairs. Tiara then proceeded with suit against Marsh to recoup the approximately $11 million representing the difference between the Marsh’s assured policy limits and the money actually obtained from Citizens.

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